References like Riddles are woven deep into Trey Havens’ John Stockton

Sidon Faris

Rarely does rap incorporate so many references into a single track, but Trey Havens makes it seem effortless on John Stockton. From the Utah Jazz to the Saints, a number of sports teams enter into the fray. Thus, when he claims to be balling, it works on multiple levels. Yes, his encyclopedic knowledge of players is quite impressive, especially on the deep cut of John Stockton, but by adding it around a relatively subdued looped piano, well, it gains a whole other meaning. His flow is pure fire and he holds absolutely nothing back. Much of the song exudes this complete confidence because it completely crushes everything in its path.

For the sheer speed of the thing, he does draw close parallels to Polo G’s attitude. With so few rappers actually going for that faster pace, it is a relief to hear something that feels this completely going for broke. The atmosphere gets folded into itself for the cyclical quality of the work makes it feel like going down a rabbit hole. The inclusion of insight of both the sports and music world fuller gives it that added depth. Production too helps to give the track crystal clarity, one that has such a wide-eyed focus behind it that absolutely refuses to let up or even slow down.

John Stockton shows off the deft delivery of Trey Havens for he blends hip-hop and the love of the game into something absolutely immersive.